Things I Can’t Seem to Give Up, Part 1

By on August 26th, 2008

As an environmentally conscious person, I’m flawed.  I admit it.  I’m no “No Impact Man.”  He’s the guy who is trying, while living in Manhattan, to have absolutely no negative impact on the environment.  No air-conditioning, no purchasing new things, no washing machine.  I’ve even heard they don’t use toilet paper. (!)

I use toilet paper.  And I use A/C, although I keep my thermostat at 78.

There are some things, however, that I think I ought to be able to give up, but I just haven’t.

Number one on the list: soda cans.  My wife, my 14-year-old stepson and I all like to drink soda out of cans.  Diet Coke, Sprite Zero, and even Tropicana Lite Lemonade.  We tried buying the soda in bottles, but it tends to go flat before we use it up.  The cans alleviate this problem.

Of course, we recycle the cans.  And we’re not alone: according to The Aluminum Association, Americans recycled 54 billion aluminum cans last year, 2 billion more than in 2006.  Aluminum cans are recycled at a 53.6% rate, which sadly is thought to be a good percentage.  The aluminum can is 100% recyclable into new cans and the aluminum can be re-used indefinitely.

Still, recycling takes energy.  It must be more efficient to buy larger containers of liquids, right?  So we continue to feel that we are using lots more of this resource — aluminum — than we should. 

Maybe, after writing this little blurb, I will feel guilty enough to at least buy bigger bottles of the Lite Lemonade.  That doesn’t go flat.

I’ll keep you posted.

Anybody else want to reveal a guilty secret about some wasteful part of their lives they’re not willing to forego?